Tag Archives: Jesus

And That’s Why the Cows were Out

Recently, I lost one of my closest friends to cancer; she was just a few years older than me and she fought a very brave battle for as long as she could. It was tough battle complicated by other health issues, that left her very weak and tired. I tried to be there for her but I will always feel that I should have done more. Because of her strong faith in Jesus, she was not afraid of death. She knew without a doubt that she was going to heaven. So, in the wee hours of Thursday morning, August 31, 2017 my friend Cindy B. passed away.

A certain scripture soon came to mind from John 14:2-3 where Jesus is speaking to his disciples, “In my Father’s house there are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go there to prepare a place for you? And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will also come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am.” So, in my heart I know, that very early Thursday morning, Jesus came by to take my friend Cindy B. to live in her new glorious home in heaven with the Lord Jesus.

Now memories of her flood my mind along with the image of her smile, the sound of her voice and her laughter. Also came to mind are favorite stories and special moments we have shared over the years of an enduring friendship. One story came to mind which I have decided to share. It is a peculiar tale that I have always remembered.

 Cindy and I had been friends for a long time: we had met at Hope Baptist Church in 1988 shortly after I had moved to the Mankato area to attend Mankato State University. Little did I know then that Cindy and I would be lifelong friends.  And we were more than friends, we also were sisters in Christ while attending the same church for years as we both continued to grow in our faith. Over the years we would sometimes go on little adventures. Cindy would say something like, “I want to get out of Mankato for a day.”

And being the agreeable friend that I was, I would respond, “Sure, where should we go?”

And so, began our little Sunday trips to Fairibault just to eat at the Golden Calf Corral.  They had a baked potato and salad buffet that we both enjoyed.  On one such bright Sunday after church, we once again headed to Fairibault. As we drove along the scenic country Highway 60, we suddenly became aware of cattle roaming about on both sides of the road. They clearly had escaped their fenced pasture.

Cindy was instantly worried, “Oh no, what should we do?”

“About the cows?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“Cindy,” I responded, “I don’t know how to herd them back into the pen. And I certainly can’t do that alone.  I don’t even know where the fence may be broken or how to fix it. When the farmer sees his cattle out he will take care of them.”

This did nothing to subside Cindy’s concern about the wandering animals who continued to walk along the road and into some nearby fields munching away on tall blades of grass, “Well, at least we should tell the farmer.”

“As soon as the farmer looks out the window or comes outside to do chores, he will see that his cows are out and will herd them back into their pen.”

“We should still tell the farmer.”

“Ok, Cindy,” I answered with a hint of exasperation in my voice, “we’ll find the nearest farmhouse and tell the farmer.”

A few moments later, we found a nearby farm but it appeared that no one was home because there seemed to be no vehicles. Now Cindy was more worried than ever about the cattle and I tried my best to reassure her, “As soon as the farmer and his family are home, they will see that their cows are out and they will get them back into their own pasture.”

Thinking that was the end of our conversation about the wandering cows, I stepped on the accelerator and prepared to continue our day adventure to Fairbault.

However…

Cindy still wasn’t convinced, “We should leave them a note.”

Incredulous, I asked her, “Are you kidding me? It is obvious the cows are out. They are wandering all over the place. The farmer will see that the minute he comes home.”

“We should still leave a note.”

I protested, “Cindy, I feel really stupid leaving the farmer a note telling him that his cows are out when it is perfectly obvious that the cows are out.”

And suddenly right then, I knew Cindy was not going to change her mind. She was so worried about the wandering cows that she felt something needed to be done. So, I drove up the long driveway and proceeded to knock on the farmer’s door just in case they were home after all. No answer. I returned to the car and somehow, we found some paper and pen.

 And so, I wrote, “Dear farmer, I am so sorry to tell you that your cows are out. I just thought you should know.” We managed to find tape in the car too and so I taped the note to their door.

We then continued to Fairibault where we enjoyed a lunch and some sweet fellowship.  On the way back, we passed the same farm and this time, the cows were safely in their own pasture.  Cindy gazed out the window looking at the peaceful scene, “I don’t why I got so worried about those cows and made you write that note.”

I smiled and shrugged, “I don’t know why either.”  And we continued our journey home.

But now, many years later I do know why. That day was to serve as a sweet memory firmly planted in my mind and heart. I often think of special memories and friendships as gifts from heaven. Again, I remembered a scripture in which Jesus spoke in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. Instead lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

 My memory of that day is an everlasting reminder of the unique and special friendship that Cindy and I had shared. And our continuing friendship is a treasure waiting in heaven. So, I now know that having that special memory of Cindy is the reason why the cows were out on that one bright Sunday so long ago.

 

How do I Love you Lord?

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Revered Poet Emily Dickenson once wrote,

“How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways.”

Well Lord Most High, how do I love you?

Let me lift your name in thankful praise.

How I so love you in the morning

When the sky is sea-blue and sun is brightly shining.

I also love you through the long and winding day

And when I am confused and don’t where I am going,

You ever so gently lead me the way.

I also love you even as the rain is softly strumming;

For I know there may be a rainbow later today.

I love you too when the sun is softly setting;

Although it hides below the horizon,

You promise never to leave but always stay.

I still remember Lord, how by grace you sent your

 Son Jesus even though I kept on sinning.

And you let him die to atone for my wicked ways.

Finally, Lord, I love you through the deep night when

 I am restless, weeping, or so vividly dreaming;

With love, you keep silent watch until once again, I wake.

EMBRACING Jesus Everyday

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Enter his glorious presence by prayer;

Meditate on his voice in his Holy Word.

Be open-minded with a teachable heart;

Remember the infinite truths he imparts.

Acknowledge and visit him through the day;

Center your thoughts on his nearness along your pathway.

Immerse in his saving grace and unending love

Never forgetting he watches over you from above.

Gently, gently he leads you like young sheep

From dawn of morn and while you quietly sleep.

“Your word is lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Psalms 119:105 (Holy Bible NIV)

Becky’s Freku: Though the Path be Dark Today

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In the cloud-filled, dreariness of this day,

While the sunlight be dim along the way,

With Jesus I can still walk in faith

Though the path be dark today.

Although troubles brew and haunt my soul

And I feel empty and lacking a life purpose or goal,

With Jesus I can still walk by faith

Though the path be dark today.

As the rain drizzles outside

And in my house I just want to hide,

With Jesus I can still walk by faith

Though the path be dark today.

Even as I awake in clouds of doubt

Wondering what my life is really about,

With Jesus I can still walk by faith

Though the path be dark today.

As I gingerly step outside in fear

Wondering what new obstacles may appear,

With Jesus I can still walk by faith

Though the path be dark today.

Believing the sun will shine again

Evaporating the clouds and drizzling rain,

With Jesus I can still walk by faith

Though the path be dark today.

Choosing to trust that he is my light

Who helps me to see in the darkest night,

With Jesus I can still walk by faith

Though the path be dark today.

Yeah! With Jesus, I

still walk by faith though my path

is darkened today.

LOOKING FORWARD

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Long everlasting hope;

Overlooking daunting obstacles.

Open heart and open mind;

Keeping and clinging to my faith inside.

Intent to view the glorious sun;

Never minding the clouds and rain.

Giving and sharing in hope with others;

Future we see and journey together.

Overcoming pain, rejection, and despair;

Remembering Jesus is always there.

Watching and waiting;

Anticipation elating.

Riding and traversing this bumpy road of trials and strife;

Destination Heaven and eternal life.

Becky’s Haiku: Hope and Up

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In hope I depend

On Jesus, my friend; lifting

My eyes up to him.

I have just attempted yet another haiku challenge from Ronovan Writes blog using the words “hope” and “up”. I am enjoying the challenge of putting different and even opposite words in such a short poem.  If you like challenges and haiku’s then I invite you to also accept his latest challenge at this link: https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/category/haiku-prompt-challenge/

Kathy B Article: Inclusion

 

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My cousin, Kathy B, a college student, has written an article on a topic that is very dear to her: inclusion. Being someone who has a disability and uses a wheelchair, she knows much about being excluded from many things but her deep desire to be “included” and to have equal opportunities in life continue to be strong within her. In recognition of Independence Day, she has taken on a deep perspective and wanted share her thoughts here. I hope you all enjoy and take to heart the words and thoughts she wanted to share with us all today:

Inclusion is the act of including someone or something. That does very little to help us to truly understand what it means, so what does include really mean? Here are some definitions that make it a bit clearer: comprise or make part of a whole set. A second definition is to allow somebody to share in an activity or privilege (Google, 2016). An activity or a privilege does not begin to describe the way that I, and other disabled people want to be included. We want and deserve to be included, as much as humanly possible, in every aspect of our own lives! For almost all my life, I have accepted exclusion as a fact of my life. After all, I have thought that people and the laws were making progress toward allowing me and others with disabilities to have more freedom and equality, weren’t they?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men {and women} are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” –Declaration of Independence as originally written by Thomas Jefferson, 1776.

As we prepare to celebrate America’s birthday, it’s 240th, how far have we come in nearly two and a half centuries? We, as people with disabilities, are people with the same natural rights to life, libertyworkplace and the pursuit of happiness – just like everyone else. In my opinion, we have so much farther to go!

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. To say I was elated that day would be an understatement! If I could have leapt for joy, I would have done it. At long last, there were laws on the books that protected me and others from discrimination!  I felt that in only a few short years that I would be able to join the workforce. I tried to go back to school in 1999. I was treated just as I was before the ADA passed, obstacle after obstacle was thrown in my way. If I enrolled, I would not be allowed to take a full schedule of classes because I had no caregiver.

Fast forward to the present – 2016. I started an internship in order to complete my BA online program. I was finally finishing college. The agency’s motto and mission statements seemed to mirror my own: “Opportunities for Everyone.” It also had its roots in Christianity, something else I appreciated. Of all organizations, this place would surely respect me, my skills and the ADA laws. By now, I had less than a year before I would get my Bachelor’s in Human Services. To be completely fair and honest, I was told in the beginning that there was no possibility of a paid position, however, I was given no reason for this. I thought that perhaps all that I had to do was impress them with my passion, empathy, education and skills. Some wanted me to stay, one was willing to modify the job so that I would be able to stay, but the agency administration would not go along with the idea. The “Opportunities for Everyone” slogan was/is a complete fallacy; this was/is equally true of the mission statement: “Empowering individuals with disabilities to enhance their quality of life.”

The ADA says this: “If you have a disability and are qualified to do a job, the ADA protects you from job discrimination on the basis of your disability. Under the ADA, you have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” However, agencies can and do get around the law by adding job requirements that many people with disabilities cannot do: have a driver’s license, have the ability to lift 30-50 pounds, have the ability to stand for long periods etc. During my internship, I worked in the main office for the supported living division. I was not alone with clients. I did task analysis, behavior analysis, writing functional and positive behavioral support assessments. I also took part in writing goals and working one on one with the client.  However, it was stated in an email that I did nothing that anyone else could not do and nothing that I did was worthy of a paid position. I could be not alone with clients, could not learn to perform CPR and other home care aid requirements, including driving.

Thank God that Jesus did not feel this way. “Matthew 20:16 New Living Translation (NLT) states:

16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.” Here is another example that means a great deal to me.  I will give some background to clarify my point. A man with leprosy approached Jesus. Everyone was encouraging not to waste a moment on this poor man. There was not a single individual that wanted anything to do with this man because he was diseased and demon possessed. Yet, Jesus ignored all of those around him and spoke to him with love, respect and dignity: “Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. [a] This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.” (Matthew 8: 1-4.).

Lord, please let people see the gifts and talents that You have blessed me with, allow their eyes to clearly see my abilities, not my dis-ability {Emphasis intended}. I also ask this for anyone else in similar circumstances. In Your name, Amen.